Here is a gold mine for the preacher, the teacher and the father and mother in the home who have it in mind to inculcate sound teaching, based upon the Word of God, so that the boys and girls of the congregations, Sunday-Schools and households may be thoroughly rooted and grounded in the essentials of the Christian faith. There are many volumes in this series of short addresses and they cover the entire range of the Holy Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation. The material gathered here is fresh and varied and there is just enough of it to furnish the groundwork of the preacher's sermon, the Sunday school teacher's talk and the parent's reading and comment. Contents: A Spider's Web. A Laughing-Stock. A Driven Leaf. A Prisoner In The Stocks. A Moth-Eaten Garment. Removing Rocks. The Topaz. Seals. The Treasures Of The Snow. Who Sends The Rain? Pointers. Seeing The King.
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CHILDREN'S GREAT BIBLE TEXTS
THE BOOK OF JOB
a Spider's Web.
A Driven Leaf.
A Prisoner In The Stocks.
A Moth-Eaten Garment.
The Treasures Of The Snow.
Who Sends The Rain?
Seeing The King.
The Book Of Job, J. Hastings
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Germany
Whose trust is a spider's web.— Job viii. 14.
You have all seen a spider's web, and some of you may have stopped for a minute to admire the arrangement of it. You noticed the long strong lines which run from the centre to the circumference, and the short lines which are woven across them at equal distances, making a perfect pattern. From the centre of the web runs a trap line up to the hiding-place of the spider which is in some little crevice or under a leaf. The slightest touch of the web sends a quiver along the threads and up this line, and the spider comes rushing down to see what has happened.
The web is made so as to take the smallest amount of time and silk. It is so fine that it can scarcely be seen, yet strong enough to stand the struggles of the insect caught in it. It is close enough to catch tiny flies, yet open enough to let the wind blow through it, and so it avoids the strain that would break down anything more solid. It blows with the breeze. You have sometimes seen in damp weather the bushes covered with gossamer threads which seem to appear suddenly from nowhere. These are woven by spiders too.
Some kinds of spiders when they are young and light are bold airmen. The little spider spins a long thread, lets the wind catch it, and immediately rises in the air to a great height, and sails away in his balloon. It is not a dirigible, however; he can't steer it, and he must just go with the wind. In this way spiders travel long distances, and even cross wide arms of the sea.
There have been fables and superstitions about spiders. You will still hear many people say that a spider is " lucky " and that to kill it is " unlucky," but good housekeepers do not pay much attention to that when they find one weaving its web in their house.
The Greeks had a story about the spider. They said there was once a girl called Arachne. She lived with her father, who was famous for the purple dye which he made. Arachne was wonderfully clever at spinning and weaving. Her parents were proud of her, and her fame spread through the whole of Greece. Great people came to see her at her work, and paid high prices for her tapestry. As a result, I am sorry to say, her head was turned, and she became very vain and boasted that no one could make tapestry like her — not even the goddess Athene.
Now the goddess Athene was the patroness of all that kind of work, and when she heard this she was much annoyed and came, disguised as an old woman, to Arachne's house. She found her busy at her work, and heard her boast that not even Athene could do better. The disguised goddess warned Arachne not to compare herself to Athene, but the girl would not listen. She merely boasted all the more and challenged Athene to come and try a contest with her. Then Athene took her own form, and they both set to work. The goddess wove pictures showing the fate of those mortals who had dared to oppose themselves to gods, and Arachne wove pictures showing the foolish things the gods had done (for the gods of Greece were just like men — very powerful but no better).
When they had finished their work, even Athene had to admit that Arachne had won. Her work was faultless. Then the goddess in a fit of anger tore it in pieces, and struck the girl on the head with the shuttle. When Arachne saw that she had brought Athene's anger upon her, and that her web was destroyed, she tried to hang herself, but Athene prevented her, and said henceforth she and all her race should hang by a rope and spin for ever. And at once Arachne changed into a spider, and there she and her race hang by threads and spin and spin to this day. And that, said the old Greeks, was the punishment for pride and presumption.
Let me tell you another spider story. In the early days of Christianity, there was a very good man called Felix of Nola. He was persecuted for his religion, and had to flee for his life. He went to a lonely uninhabited place, full of rocks. There were caves in the rocks, and Nola hid himself in one of them. While he was lying there he saw a spider weaving its web across the opening of the cave. He lay and watched it spinning thread after thread and fixing each in its proper place, at exactly the right distance, till the mouth of the cave was covered with them. Presently he heard men's voices, and he gave himself up for lost, for he knew they were seeking him. They came to the mouth of the cave, and there they stopped. When they saw the opening covered with a spider's web, they said " No one has passed in here, or the web would be broken," and they went on to look elsewhere. Nola escaped, and when he spoke of it afterwards he used to say, " Where God is, a spider's web is as a wall; where He is not, a wall is but as a spider's web." In the text at the head of this sermon the trust of the wicked is said to be like a spider's web — they have nothing strong to depend on; but for those who love God even a spider's web can be a protection. Nothing is too humble for Him to use for His purposes, not even the tiny spider.
Now, if you come upon one spinning in a dark corner, or in a rose-bush, remember these two things— not to be vain and boastful about the gifts you possess, and not to think you are so tiny and insignificant that God can make no use of you. Let the spider teach you these two things, and I think it will be " lucky " for you that you have met him.
A laughing-stock to his neighbour.— Job xii. 4.
Hands up those who like to be laughed at! Ah! I thought so! Not a hand to be seen. Hands up those who like to laugh at others! What! Still not a hand? Well I'm glad of that. It shows that even if you do laugh at others you are ashamed of it. For the last time, hands up those who can laugh at themselves! I hope there are lots of hands up this time, for a laugh at oneself is a very wholesome laugh indeed, and does one heaps of good.
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